Monday, June 5th, Governor Abbott talked at a GOP dinner in Belton Texas where he announced he will hold a press conference on the steps of the Texas capitol on Tuesday. The main topic he discussed over dinner was one of the main pieces of legislation he pushed for in the 85th Texas Legislative session that ended on Memorial Day. SB 2, a bill Governor Abbott wanted passed to put property tax limits in the local voters hands.
SB 2, as passed by the Senate, would cut the amount by which local governments could increase their property taxes without a special election. SB 2 would override the values and desires of local voters and limits ability to provide services.
Under current law, local governments can choose to increase their property-tax revenue by up to eight percent a year. The Senate version of SB 2 would slash the cap and require a special election, without a petition, for any tax increase over a certain percent (link)
Governor Abbott said last week, after the 85th session ended on Memorial Day, that he would announce later in the week if he would call a special session. Abbott delayed his timeline last Wednesday, saying he was waiting for the budget to be certified. Comptroller Glenn Hegar certified the budget a day later. Abbott then came out and said he would not make his announcement until the next week.
So here we are, Governor Abbott has scheduled a press conference for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 6th. The question is will it be about calling a special session and announcing when it will begin or is he just pulling a “Trump” to achieve more media coverage? If Abbott is calling the press conference to announce a special session you can almost be sure it will include passing legislation on property taxes and on the Sunset Commission that regulates major state boards, like the Board of Medical Examiners, that would disappear on September 1st ending the possibility of new doctors from becoming certified in Texas and also terminating renewals of their current licenses.
The looming question is, will Lt? Gov. Dan Patrick get his way after pressuring Governor Abbott to include the “Bathroom Bill” in a special session or will Abbott listen to Texas Speaker Joe Straus and abandon any type of legislation regarding bathroom use which discriminates against Transgender Texans and would be detrimental to the Texas economy. We’ll find out at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.